Take three pounds of lean gravy beef, rub it well with an ounce of saltpetre, and then a handful of common salt; let it lie in salt for a couple of days, rubbing it well each day; then put it into an earthen pan or stone jar that will just hole! it; cover it with the skin and fat that you cut off, and pour in half a pint of water; cover it close with paste, and set it in a very slow oven for about four hours.
When it comes from the oven, drain the gravy from it into a basin; pick out the gristles and the skins; mince it fine; moisten it with a little of the gravy you poured from the meat, which is a very strong consomme (but rather salt), and it will make excellent pease soup, or browning; pound the meat patiently and thoroughly in a mortar with some fresh butler, till it is a fine paste (to make potted meat smooth there is nothing equal to plenty of elbow-grease); seasoning it by degrees, as you are beating it, with a little black pepper and allspice, or cloves poinded, or mace, or grated nutmeg.
Put it in pots, press it down as close as possible, and cover it a quarter of an inch thick with clarified butter; and if you wish to preserve it a long time, over that tie a bladder. Keep it in a dry place.
You may mince a little ham or bacon, or an anchovy, sweet or savory herbs, or an eschalot, and a little tarragon, chervil, or burnet, &.c, and pound them with the meat, with a glass of wine, or some mustard, or forcemeat.
It is a very agreeable and economical way of using the remains of game or poultry, or a large joint of either roasted or boiled beef, veal, ham, or tongue, etc. to mince it with some of the fat, or moisten it with a little butter, and beat it in a mortar with the seasoning, etc.
Meat that has been boiled down for gravies, etc. (which has heretofore been considered the perquisite of the cat) and is completely drained of all its succulence, beat in a mortar with salt and a little ground black pepper and allspice, as directed in the foregoing receipt, and it will make as good potted beef as meat that has been baked till its moisture is entirely extracted, which it must be, or it will not keep two days.
Meat that has not been previously salted, will not keep so long as that which has.